If there’s one thing rarer than great design, it is great design in aid of a good cause. This was the second thing that occurred to me after coming across advertising agency LRXD’s “Gift of Water” New Year’s Box; the first, of course, was “wow!”

“As the new year began, LRXD wanted to pass on our health and happiness values to clients by passing on some good to the world,” explains LRXD Creative Director Jamie Reedy. Ostensibly that “good” was an ultra-cool black and silver-toned water bottle with “Health and Happiness” printed on the side. But, says Jamie, “While the agency gift simply seemed to be a sleek water bottle, the message emblazoned on the box was an important one.”

That message actually takes two forms. First is the following wording which was letterpress printed by Method and Madness using 2 PMS colors (Opaque White + PMS Metallic 872) on Neenah Classic Crest Epic Black [Get Swatchbook] with a sticky backing, finished with trim and applied to the box:

“We’re on a mission to spread health and happiness. So we’ve made a donation in your name to help provide clean drinking water across the globe. RainCatcher creates sustainable drinking water solutions in the developing world through rainwater harvesting. With this donation, 5,000 people receive clean water to drink for an entire year. From all of us at LRXD, thanks for helping us make life better.”

Meanwhile, laser engraved directly on the custom-made box are the LRXD logo, some graphical ruminations on the nature of water, and the phrase “We never know the worth of water ’til the well is dry.”

Together, the label and engravings make for a box that not only gets its point across, its opulent look makes for a jarring juxtaposition with the Third World scourge it is hoping to alleviate. A philosophically stunning piece of work.